Otoplasty

Otoplasty –or ear surgery- is an operation rectifying cartilage defaults of the pinna- the external ear-, responsible of shaping the ear with a prominent aspect. To conduct an otoplasty procedure is to remodel the shape of the outer ear pinna. This can be done on one or both ears. This procedure can be performed on children as of seven years old, and at any age for the adults.

Details

The cartilage pinna, responsible for the uneven shape of the ear, is remodeled. Three types of anatomic misshapenness can occur, either individually or in combination: the orientation of the pinna -with regards to the side of the head- is too pronounced, giving the ear a prominent aspect; the shape cavity of the external ear is too wide, giving the impression of an ear projected outward; its shape is lacking curvatures and rims, resulting in an uneven aspect.

Otoplasty can correct these defects by restructuring the cartilage. The ears are reshaped; their symmetry is respected as well as the natural overall aspect. These aesthetics results are helping reconstructing the confidence especially of young patients in the school system.

The diagnosis is established at the first meeting. Therefore, the consultation mainly consist in reassuring the patient –whose often young in this case - by explaining in simple words the basic principles of the procedure and its effects.

Incisions are made at the back of the ear, most usually usually in the natural fold located behind the ear. Some other minor incisions may be necessary. If so, they are made on the outside of the external ear and in natural folds in order to get as minimum scars as possible.

After the incision is made, the cartilage is isolated to than being reshaped. Reshaping the cartilage consists in enhancing the preexisting volumes of the ear by plication maintained with in depth sutures. Sometimes the cartilage may need to be cut. The surgeon can adjust the position of the pinna with sutures made at various levels.

The bandage is made of flexible strips placed around the head and covering the ears in order to maintain them in place. The procedure takes 30 to 90 minutes for both ears, depending on the actual work to be done.

The after effects are usually not painful, although the patient can experience some twinges. Analgesics can then be prescribed. The bandage is removed as of the following day of the procedure. No dressing is than needed; only the use of a bandage.

Some bruises and swelling may occur but will gradually disappear within ten days. It is recommend to wear for two weeks, this day and night, a compressing headband. It is recommended to do not touch nor rub the ears, and to avoid the practice of extreme activities or sports that could results in altering the final result of the surgery.

The results will be appreciated in one to two months to assess the results, the necessary period for the skin tissues to soften again and for the swelling of the ear to resolve. Then the new shaping can be clearly appreciated. Scars, pinkish at first, fade over time.
The ears appear enhanced : their positioning is well balanced, symmetrical. The shape and plications are harmonious in all way and look natural.